fbpx Lecture Series: The Child in Cinema | Gene Siskel Film Center

The Child in Cinema

February 2 - May 10

From February 2 through May 10, we offer a series of fourteen programs entitled The Child in Cinema, with weekly Tuesday lectures by Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Professor of Film, TV, and Theatre at Notre Dame University and author of The Apartment Plot and an in-progress book on the urban child in cinema. The series is presented in cooperation with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. Additional screenings of the films on Friday or Saturday do not include Prof. Wojcik’s lecture.

– Martin Rubin, Associate Director of Programming, Gene Siskel Film Center


This series explores the meaning of the image of the child in cinema. It is not a course in the genre of the children’s film or children’s media. Instead, we will examine the function children perform in film; the meanings we ascribe to childhood; how ideas about childhood change historically, across different cultures, in different countries, and different genres; and what kids tell us about our ideas about gender, race, and class. We will consider the role of the child star, performance, and especially tears. We will investigate how ideals of childhood innocence operate in relation to images of childhood evil, sexuality, criminality, war, and other modes of experience.

– Pamela Robertson Wojcik, Professor of Film, TV, and Theatre at Notre Dame University

Admission to all The Child in Cinema programs is $5 for Film Center members; usual admission prices apply for non-members.